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Low-Dose Allergy treatment (LDA)
Low-Dose Allergy treatment may be the best possible treatment for complex allergy patients, as well as, those with less complex problem such as hay fever. Basically it is used to induce tolerance in patients with intolerances to foods and allergens in the environment. LDA is a method of allergy desensitization using combinations of a variety of extremely low dose allergens (approximately 10-6 to 10-17) . This ultra low-dose mixture of antigens is given with a minute dose of beta glucuronidase (10-13). These are not homeopathic doses, rather ultra low-doses. Beta glucuronidase is an immune modulater found in all of our cells. Together this combination stimulates production of T-suppressor cells, which then "turn off" T-helper cells that are mistakenly causing the body to overreact to normal substances as if they were allergens. LDA treatment works differently than classic immunotherapy. Classic immunotherapy is largely antibody-mediated, while LDA is cell-mediated, most likely acting on immune regulating T cells. LDA works to bring about tolerance to allergens to which a person is intolerant.
A wide variety of conditions respond to including the following:
migraine and chronic headaches
irritable bowel syndrome
inflammatory bowel disease
Multiple food allergy states
Food induced psychological states - depression, anxiety
LDA includes mixtures of over 300 allergens that act "universally". Patients who have extensive allergies causing a wide diversity of symptoms can respond favorably to the treatment. The LDA mixtures include pollens, animal danders, dust and dust mites, fungi, Candida, molds, foods, food additives, perfumes and common chemicals (not pesticides and herbicides).
Frequency of Treatment
LDA is administered by injection into the forearm immediately after mixing at the doctor's office. A total volume 0.05 ml is injected, which feels like a bee sting for less than a minute. There may be anywhere from 1-3 injections depending on the complexity of the allergies, but usually we start with one injection. Following the injection there may be an area of redness and swelling at injection site that resolves fairly quickly, but sometimes lasts for a day or more. This is not harmful and can actually be a good sign that the injection "took"
LDA treatments need only be given every 2-3 months at first, then less often. Generally, patients are treated every 2-3 months about 6-8 times. After that, treatments usually decrease to every 3-6 months and eventually even less often.
Seasonal allergies, i.e. hay fever, strictly due to seasonal pollen allergy is treated with 2 doses per year initially and then only once annually just before the pollen season starts. It is preferable to get the very first injection 2 months before the onset of the season and a booster dose 2-3 weeks just before the season begins. Booster doses are given once a year after that once a year.
Other allergies including food intolerance are more complicated. LDA injections are given every 2 months during the first 12-18 months of treatment. After that the frequency of the injections can usually be reduced. LDA injections cannot be given more than every 7-8 weeks. When a favorable response has been well-established, generally between the sixth to eighth dose (fewer doses in children), the frequency of treatment for most conditions can usually be decreased to between 2-4 times per year.
Disadvantages of LDA
The main disadvantage of LDA is that it generally takes 6-8 injections to achieve a sustained effect that lasts for most of the 1-3 months between injections (except for the simple dust and pollen allergy, which requires fewer injections).
Another difficulty is that patients have to follow a specific protocol during the "3 critical days" when the LDA is given. This includes a restricted diet, avoidance of specific medications, allergens and chemicals and taking specific medications and supplements.
Development of LDA
Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization (EPD) was developed in England by Dr. Len McEwen a brilliant British physician/immunologist. Over 2000 patients in the US and approximately 350,000 worldwide utilized EPD safely and effectively. In 2001 the FDA stopped usage of EPD in the US. W.A. Shrader, M.D., who did the most too introduce EPD to physicians in the US formulated LDA, which uses the same active components as EPD does. In addition, Dr. Shrader added many more pollens, foods and other allergens more suited to the US. LDA is compounded by a compounding pharmacy in the USA. The FDA has been told by the Supreme Court that it cannot regulate compounding pharmacies the same as it regulates "manufactured" (retail) drugs. So compounding pharmacies are allowed to compound specific "compounds" that physicians prescribe, the same as they have done since the very beginning of medicine in this country.